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So two weeks ago today our second oldest – Daniel, 9 years old, generally quite bright – came in from the across the street playground. My wife (I was at work) found him standing and looking a little upset by the front door. She asked, “What’s wrong?”
“I don’t know”
“Are you hurt?”
“My head hurts”
“Why does your head hurt?”
“I don’t know.”

Our oldest came in and said that he had seen Daniel fall from five feet high headfirst into the woodchips. Daniel listened to this, but five minutes later my wife was surprised to hear him ask why his head hurt.

She called our doctor who said (of course) “Get him to the E.R!”

So she brought him to the hospital and gave him a bucket in case of concussion causing car sickness. And on the way there:
Where are we going?
To the Hospital.
Why are we going to the hospital?
Because you might have a concussion.
What’s a concussion?
It’s when you fall and hit your head?
I fell?
Yes, at the playground.
Oh. . . why am I holding a bucket?

They went through conversation like this four or five time on the way to the hospital. This is where I met them. Daniel was still asking lots of questions repeatedly. My wife was starting to giggle. The nurse thought he looked like he was going to faint (actually I think he was just really confused) so they gave him a wheelchair. Every few minutes he would ask why he was in a wheel chair if just his head hurt. A reasonable question.

And then there was a storm warning and we were all told to get to the one part of the waiting area that didn’t have windows. And it was at this point the Daniel started to remember things, like that he had already asked the question he had just asked, and that his brother kept putting the brakes on on his wheel chair.

So the rest of the story quick: Doctor came, brought us into a real hospital room, checked for eye dilation (it was there) told us that memory loss was significant so he needed to have a CT scan. Daniel was nervous about this, but later said it was like being on a ride. CT scan shows things are normal, sent home, that evening memory starts coming back to Daniel – a day later his head stops hurting – so a happy ending.

For a while a few years back we found ourselves going to the emergency room every 11 or twelve months. We had broken that pattern and had gone more than a year and a half. But our accident free streak broke with this event. Oh well. The good news is that it was by far the most pleasant time we had spent in the emergency room.


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